Cissus: A Miracle Plant, or a Curiosity?: Love this plant... but it is dangerous!

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Cissus: A Miracle Plant, or a Curiosity?

By Bubbles
December 2, 2013

Cissus quadrangularis, also known as Veldt Grape, is one of the most unusual plants in my garden. I have it contained in a hanging basket, but when a piece is knocked off, it will readily root on the ground. Cissus prefers to climb and will wind its way into the tree limbs if allowed. In early fall, the plant has small insignificant white flowers and, occasionally, small red berries that are are sterile.

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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Dec 1, 2013 9:51 PM CST
I also was given a start of this from a plantpal in south Louisiana. I fell in love with it!

But the danger is you can't have just one. After this plant, I went in search of the Cissus rotundifolia and then the Cissus tuberosa and then... are there any more I'm missing? LOL

Nice article ~ thanks.
[Last edited by pod - Dec 2, 2013 7:44 AM (+)]
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Dec 1, 2013 10:05 PM CST
I was given a round leaf one, recently. I tried to get it IDd , but Janet and plantladylin thought it was just a juvenile quad. The plant is still growing and the leaves have not turned into "grape" like leaves. I have googled it and come up blank. Hopefully, someone can ID it. The segments aren't corky on the edges like the quad.

There are many of them to add to your collection! You better get busy!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Dec 1, 2013 10:44 PM CST
Here's the round leafed one

The thread "Cissus with round leaves, not quadrangularis" in Plant ID forum
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Dec 2, 2013 5:42 AM CST
Never heard about this plant before, but love reading about the medicinal qualities of plants. Very interesting!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Dec 2, 2013 7:43 AM CST
I understand there are over 350 species in the Cissus genus. It will be difficult to ID it but as I understand there are two types of C. quadrangularis. One with corky edges on the stems, on has smooth edges which would be similar to yours. I've also seen some with truly round leaves where yours appear to be almost heart shaped. That may be one plant to just 'enjoy' and not wonder.

I've also read that only one is specifically medicinal but I agree with Vickie on the medicinal qualities of plants. I am one that believes every plant was put on this earth for a reason. We just don't always know why...

Now, even though the greenhouse is full, there is one more Cissus that I lust after and the search is part of the fun.
In the meantime, I've found some new plant sites to lust through. Drooling
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Dec 2, 2013 8:58 AM CST
Not only are there so many species, there are so many countries where they exist under a different name.
Forgot to ask, have you tried eating it? It's pretty tasty.
[Last edited by Bubbles - Dec 2, 2013 9:43 AM (+)]
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Dec 2, 2013 11:35 AM CST
No, I haven't ~ that is interesting to know. Thanks...
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
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extranjera
Dec 2, 2013 11:56 AM CST
This plant has been growing in a pot of something else for a long time and I never knew what it was, I'm not even sure where it came from. It's nice to have a name though, and I am thinking about giving it its own pot. I don't want it to escape into the garden as it seems like it could be invasive in this climate. So far it has only lengthened one strand, it's now about 4' long. It has never made another branch? Perhaps I should cut the long branch into pieces and let them root.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Dec 2, 2013 12:19 PM CST
Yes, Jonna, each segment will root. It hasn't been invasive here, but it easily breaks and I just pick up the pieces and stick them back in the pot. They really don't need any care.
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
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extranjera
Dec 2, 2013 2:20 PM CST
That's good. Now to find it a pot of its own Thumbs up
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Dec 2, 2013 11:50 PM CST
Vickie, I missed your post. David of Deland had a classified ad selling Cissus. If you're interested in it, you should try to tree-mail him. The more I read about Cissus, the more interesting it becomes. I know you can buy capsules of it in health stores, but who knows how much Cissus is actually in that capsule?
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Dec 5, 2013 1:01 PM CST
Thanks Sandi. I doubt that I will be buying it. I have been reading about it though and it sounds like an amazing herb that probably needs more studies done on it. If it really does what I've read about, I am surprised we don't hear more about it. I am fascinated by what I have read so far.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Dec 6, 2013 9:00 AM CST
Great article! I have a nice plant from start of this that you passed along to me many years ago. It comes in at the sign of cold weather.Good to know some more information. I have never seen a bloom. How cool!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Dec 6, 2013 9:32 AM CST
Thanks, Anna. I've never seen a bloom on mine, either. Mine is usually put away for winter by early Nov., so maybe it booms over winter and I miss the show.
Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
Dec 7, 2013 7:45 PM CST
I bought mine in a nursery a few months ago. I'd never seen it before, and wanted to add it to my succulent collection. There wasn't a label and the nursery had no idea what the name was either ! So glad it's identified for me now. I have already cut off a few pieces to start more. I will have to move it though, as I can see it's wanting to "grab" onto a tree branch and start climbing. Will have to do a taste test soon.
“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
Eeyore
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Dec 7, 2013 8:17 PM CST
Good to hear someone could find it in a nursery. I don't think you have to worry about it taking over the tree! The segments are so loosely attached, they'd probably come down with a stern shaking!

Good to hear that they're becoming available in nurseries. Thanks for the information.

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